The Cincinnati Police Department is investigating claims that an off-duty officer was drinking at an Over-the-Rhine bar while carrying a gun.
The citizen complaint involves two CPD officers at the 16-Bit Bar + Arcade, CPD spokesperson Tiffaney Hardy confirmed.
Troy Allen, owner of the barcade, said a guest “was very uncomfortable” after seeing one of the officers, who was armed, drinking alcohol.
16-Bit has a posted sign stating their no weapons policy. Drinking alcohol while carrying a firearm inside a bar is against Ohio law.
“We informed the gentleman (an off duty officer) of our policy, he said he did have his side arm on him and was very understanding/polite,” Allen wrote on Facebook. “Unfortunately, the gentleman with him was not and they were asked to leave per our policy.”
In a Facebook post Wednesday, Officer Jimmy Perkins said the staff approached him about carrying a weapon, but it was actually his co-worker who was armed. Perkins said his shirt clearly identified him as a police officer and that he believed he was “being unfairly profiled by the staff.”
The story spread online and 16-Bit’s manager says people began unfairly accusing them of being “anti-cop.”
“I want to clearly state that we fully respect and support all officers that protect and serve. For anyone to suggest we are anti-police is a sad agenda that is completely false and very irresponsible,” said Allen.
Allen took to Facebook again after comments elevated to what he called “a complete left/right, pro-gun/anti-gun and right/wrong debate.”
“It is entirely irresponsible of one individual to label us as anti-cop when the officer was breaking the law and we fully support the man and woman who protect us,” Allen wrote.
The bar has contacted Cincinnati Police. The conversation between staff and officers was reportedly recorded on camera.
FOX19 NOW has asked CPD for the complaint documents.